Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on Dutch company Vitens’ decision to end cooperation with Mekorot: “Vitens should be praised for turning its principled position into positive action.”

December 19, 2013

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, praised the recent announcement by Dutch water company, Vitens, to end its cooperation with Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, calling it a “necessary and moral decision”.

Mekorot is responsible for a number of violations of international law within the occupied State of Palestine. This includes the pillage of shared water resources and the denial of Palestinian access to their own water resources, in order to sustain Israel’s illegal settlements.

“This is a significant step. In a statement, Vitens stressed that it attaches great importance to integrity and abides by national and international law and regulations. The company should be praised for turning its principled position into positive action. I also commend the Dutch government for its clear official policy on discouraging economic links with the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise, which is in line with domestic, European and international law.” 

“It has been suggested by some that Mekorot is named in the recent deal signed by Israel, Jordan and the occupied State of Palestine. I have been assured that this is not the case.” Dr. Ashrawi stated. “This is a company which is complicit in denying a whole population some of its most fundamental human rights.”

Dr Ashrawi also welcomed the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s recent publication of guidelines warning businesses about the risks of economic links with settlements. "We hope that the British government will now follow in a similar vein to the Dutch government, by advising British companies to end cooperation with settlements."

Dr. Ashrawi concluded: “Such steps demonstrate integrity and respect for international law. They distinguish Israel from its illegal activities over the Green Line and therefore help to realize the two-state solution, which the international community endorses, and in which it has invested heavily. These measures constitute a natural translation of both law and policy. We call on other States, municipalities and private companies to follow such examples.”

Back to top